Australia has dispatched search planes for a third consecutive day to search the remote southern Indian Ocean for debris possibly from missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, now lost for two full weeks.
The international team hunting for the plane returned Saturday to an area about 2,500 kilometers southwest of Perth where an Australian satellite spotted two large objects earlier in the week.
The searches have come up with no sign of wreckage in the area. Australia has cautioned that the objects might have no connection to the Boeing 777, carrying 239 passengers and crew.
During a telephone conversation Friday, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein asked the U.S. Defense Department for underwater surveillance equipment to help with the search.
A Pentagon spokesman did not say what equipment the U.S. might provide, but that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is considering the request and whether it would be helpful in looking for the aircraft.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters his country is "throwing everything we've got" in an effort to find Flight 370.
A pilot from New Zealand, Lieutenant Tim McAlevey, said he is disappointed but has every confidence that the floating objects will be found.
The Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared two weeks ago during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There has been no firm evidence, so far, of what happened to the jet.
Investigators are not ruling out anything, including catastrophic mechanical failure, terrorism or pilot suicide. They say it is possible that someone with knowledge of planes diverted it far off course.
Twenty-six nations have been hunting for the plane across an area covering more than 7 million square kilometers, from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean.
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Tim McAlevey, New Zealand pilot:
"It's certainly disappointing and I've got every confidence that if there is an object there that we will find it and every time that we launch we hold that hope; however, we are just going to keep going until we find it.''
Tony Abbott, Australian Prime Minister:
"We have an Australian naval ship that is steaming as fast as it can to the area. It is an extremely remote part of the southern Indian Ocean. It is about 3,000 kilometers southwest of Perth. It's about the most inaccessible spot that you could imagine on the face of the Earth, but if there is anything down there we will find it. We owe it to the families of those people to do no less." )